SSL Certificate
St. Francis Area Schools
A PreK-12 public school district serving the communities of Athens Township, Andover, Bethel, East Bethel, Linwood Township, Nowthen, Oak Grove, St. Francis and Stanford Township

543 Teacher Academy

Overview

Teachers and the communities they serve share a need to maximize the investment in professional development, particularly as experienced teachers exit the profession at an accelerating rate. New teachers need a strong professional development program in place to provide a meaningful induction into the profession. Experienced teachers need opportunities to sharpen skills and expand their understanding of teaching and learning. Further, our experienced teachers provide the cadre of support to effectively induct new teachers into the profession and train each other in techniques and strategies. Education Minnesota St. Francis, operating from its position as advocate for classroom teachers, provides a unique link to effective staff development.

To be effective, staff development needs to meet the following criteria: (Adapted from the National Staff Development Council)

  1. Focuses on what happens in classrooms and with student achievement.
  2. Uses high-quality research to expand and deepen participants' professional knowledge and understanding.
  3. Is ongoing, encouraging teachers to work together.
  4. Models the use of reflection and data collection for problem-solving and decision-making.

I. Purpose

To increase student learning in every classroom in the district by providing each teacher with the support and tools to maximize his or her effectiveness as a teacher and encourage professional growth throughout the teacher's career.

II. Objectives

A. Promote positive attitudes in teachers and students toward school and learning.

B. More effective instructional decisions based on analysis and data.

C. Increased self-confidence and greater satisfaction with teaching and learning.

D. Improved student performance on grades and standardized tests.

III. Participants

A. Probationary teachers

  1. will participate in the following as part of the tenure track process, beginning fall of 2001
    a. three-day (18 hour) orientation before school starts for teachers new to ISD 15
    b. take Foundations 1 or Foundations of Special Education as the first year Academy course
    c. take one 30-hour Academy course each year for the following two years
    d. participate as mentee in mentorship program until established as a continuing contract teacher (20 hours per year)

B. Continuing contract teachers

  1. will complete annually one Academy course, study group, or individual plan (30 hours)
  2. may serve as a mentor.
  3. may serve as Academy course instructor or peer leader
  4. may be counseled to participate in a particular course offering through performance review process

IV. Academy Staff

A. Academy Specialist

  1. will be selected from among continuing contract teacher applicants through Joint Standing Committee process
  2. must participate in and be certified as a trainer through the American Federation of Teachers Professional Development Program or through a similar high level research training program
  3. will have training cost provided
  4. will receive payment for training and teaching paid on an extended contract basis (preparation time allotted for trainers will be one hour for each three hours of classroom instructional time)
  5. will participate in training and work sessions provided by Academy Coordinators throughout the year

B. Peer Leaders

  1. will be selected from among continuing contract teacher applicants through Joint Standing Committee process.
  2. will receive payment on an extended contract basis
  3. will participate in training and work sessions provided by Academy Coordinators throughout the year.

C. Mentors

  1. will be selected from applicants through Joint Standing Committee process who meet one of the following criteria:
    a. teacher with six years of teaching experience, at least three of which are in ISD 15.
    b. teacher who is nominated to participate as a mentor by a peer leader or administrator.
  2. assigned to a mentee or mentorship group by appropriate district coordinator
  3. must participate in 30 hour mentor training program
  4. will not participate in teacher evaluation or appraisal
  5. will receive, as payment a stipend as determined by Joint Standing Committee process

D. District Coordinators

  1. will be selected from among applicants through Joint Standing Committee process for a six-year assignment
  2. will consist of two positions:
    a. Student Performance Improvement Initiative Coordinator
    b. Academy Coordinator
  3. report to Superintendent
  4. follow job description as approved by Joint Standing Committee
  5. will receive payment on an extended contract basis

V. Academy Courses

The Joint Standing Committee oversees maintenance and development of courses that meet the standards of the American Federation of Teachers level three professional development.

VI. Joint Standing Committee

A. Membership

  1. Voting members of the Joint Standing Committee will be four members appointed by the Superintendent of which two shall be School Board members, and four members appointed by the president of Education Minnesota St. Francis.
  2. Non-voting members will be the President of Education Minnesota St. Francis if not self-appointed as a voting member, the Superintendent if not self-appointed as a voting member, the Academy coordinator(s) who facilitates the meeting and others deemed appropriate by the committee.

B. Leadership

The Student Performance Improvement Initiative Coordinator will act as chair of the committee. Other leadership roles will be determined on an as-needed basis.

C. Budgetary Considerations

  1. The Student Performance Improvement Initiative Coordinator will develop an annual budget. Expenditures will be monitored and approved through the Superintendent. At the end of each fiscal year, unexpended budgeted funds will stay in the account.

VII. Status of this document

This document will be adopted as policy by the Board of Education. It will be subject to review and modification only during the process of negotiating subsequent teacher contracts between the District and Education Minnesota St. Francis or by recommendation of the Joint Standing Committee to the Board of Education.

It is understood that the teachers on the Joint Standing Committee represent Education Minnesota St. Francis and have an obligation to seek input and approval of the members of the Union as part of the process of recommending changes to the policy.

Adopted: February 8, 2016

School Board
Independent School District 15
St. Francis, Minnesota

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